Preparations from sago, tapioca, and other farinaceous substances are sometimes serviceable for this purpose. Oranges, grapes, and other perfectly ripened and juicy fruits are also most excellent. They are nature’s own delicacies, and serve both for food and drink. They should not, however, be kept in the sick room, but preserved in some cool place, and served when needed, as fresh and in as dainty a manner as possible. Like all food provided for the sick, they should be arranged to please the eye as well as the palate. The capricious appetite of an invalid will often refuse luscious fruit from the hand of a nurse, which would have been gladly accepted had it been served on dainty china, with a clean napkin and silver.
The juice of the various small fruits and berries forms a basis from which may be made many refreshing drinks especially acceptable to the dry, parched mouth of a sick person.
Fruit juices can be prepared with but little trouble. For directions see page 209.
Beverages from fruit juices are prepared by using a small quantity of the juice, and sufficient cold water to dilute it to the taste. If it is desirable to use such a drink for a sick person in some household where fruit juices have not been put up for the purpose, the juice may be obtained from a can of strawberries, raspberries, or other small fruit, by turning the whole into a coarse cloth and straining off the juice; or a tablespoonful of currant or other jelly may be dissolved in a tumbler of warm water, and allowed to cool. Either will make a good substitute for the prepared fruit juice, though the flavor will be less delicate. The hot beverages and many of the cold ones given in the chapter on Beverages will be found serviceable for the sick, as will also the following additional ones:—
ACORN COFFEE.—Select plump, round, sweet acorns. Shell, and brown in an oven; then grind in a coffee-mill, and use as ordinary coffee.
ALMOND MILK.—Blanch a quarter of a pound of shelled almonds by pouring over them a quart of boiling water, and when the skins soften, rubbing them off with a coarse towel. Pound the almonds in a mortar, a few at a time, adding four or five drops of milk occasionally, to prevent their oiling. About one tablespoonful of milk in all will be sufficient. When finely pounded, mix the almonds with a pint of milk, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, and a little piece of lemon rind. Place the whole over the fire to simmer for a little time. Strain, if preferred, and serve cold.
APPLE BEVERAGE.—Pare and slice very thin a juicy tart apple into a china bowl. Cover with boiling water, put a saucer over the bowl, and allow the water to get cold. Strain and drink. Crab apples may be used in the same way.
APPLE BEVERAGE NO. 2.—Bake two large, sour apples, and when tender, sprinkle a tablespoonful of sugar over them, and return to the oven until the sugar is slightly browned. Break and mash the apples with a silver spoon, pour over them a pint of boiling water; cover and let stand until cold; then strain and serve.